Tuesday, June 13, 2017

How Rich Men in Greenwich Came to Control Pan Am

Back in the fall of 2014 at this blog I was heavily engaged in a review of Nixon's role in Watergate, while at the same time exploring his connection to Rebe Rebozo. Researching Bebe in depth had led me to Bebe's marriage to high school classmate Clare Gunn, who had their marriage annulled just before she married in 1937 an extremely wealthy man, E. Vose Babcock, Jr. That marriage ended in divorce after only two years. Her final marriage would be to a Pan Am Airways pilot named James N. Gentry.

Although I did promise to continue researching what to be was a quite intriguing connection, i.e., Babcock's connection to the Mellon and Scaife families in Pittsburgh, I neglected to post my followup research. Instead, curiosity about land developers in Florida, among many other subjects,  intervened. Refer back to my previous post to refresh your memory, as the saga continues here.

Vose Babcock, Sr. dies.
Juan Trippe's Social Circle Within a Circle

Prior to his becoming Pittsburgh's mayor, Vose Babcock, Sr. had been a trustee of the University of Pittsburgh with Andrew Carnegie himself a decade or so after  Carnegie sold his steel company to J.P. Morgan and became America's richest philanthropist. Vose Jr., something of a black sheep, did not follow the lead of other wealthy Pittsburgh citizens who married within their class. 
David K.E. Bruce & A. Mellon
Scions from that Pittsburgh group include Richard Beatty Mellon's daughter Sarah Cordelia, for example, who married Alan Magee Scaife, nephew of William L. Scaife, also a fellow trustee with Vose Babcock, Sr.; Sarah's first cousin, Andrew Mellon's daughter Ailsa, married David K.E. Bruce, who himself had a founding role in Pan American Airways, as well as a secretive career in intelligence. Passing the Maryland Bar in 1921, Bruce then "dabbled at the law and began preparing for a career in the State Department at its foreign service school."*  It would be in David Bruce's footsteps a young George H. W. Bush would tread in the years leading up to Bush's rise in power and status as President Richard Nixon was being drummed out of office in 1974, a path which ended in late 1977 upon Bruce's death.

Alan Magee Scaife, graduating in the 1920 class at Yale, had been roommates with Juan T. Trippe there. No doubt that relationship helped Trippe become the founder of Pan American Airways at the age of only 27. David Bruce, Scaife's cousin by marriage, who grew up in Baltimore amongst heirs of Alexander Brown's fortune, became a partner in an investment bank set up in 1926--W.A. Harriman & Co.--which would soon merge with Alex Brown's New York sons' descendants in Brown Brothers, founded in 1825. 

The Brown descendants included the wife of another close Yale friend, Robert A. Lovett, who in 1919 had married Adele Quartley Brown, daughter of senior partner James Brown. In 1926 Lovett became a Brown Brothers partner. That was the same year Trippe broke up with PanAm's former investors, which included Averell Harriman, after the military brass who ran Colonial Air Transport accused Trippe of neglecting the airline's core business--contract mail routes--while trying to build a passenger transport business.** 

Juan Trippe of Greenwich
At that time the core mail routes were Boston to New York and New York to Chicago, but Trippe was more interested in a route to America's Pacific coast, California, and from the Florida keys to Cuba, with a more distant eye to the "Orient."

The man who blew the whistle, as it were, on Juan Trippe's "loose management" was none other than Andrew Mellon's son-in-law David Bruce, whose fellow partners at W.A. Harriman & Co. were Roland "Bunny" Harriman, Knight Woolley, and Prescott Bush--all of whom had been classmates at Yale who had been tapped for Skull and Bones just as America entered WWI in 1917. Another partner, the one with the most banking experience, however, was our old friend George Herbert (Bert) Walker, who became Prescott Bush's father-in-law in 1921.

Founding of W. A. Harriman & Co in 1920

In May of that year Robert Scott Lovett (father of Robert A. Lovett, also a Bonesman from Yale's class of 1918) volunteered to work full-time with the War Council, headed by Henry Pomeroy Davison of Locust Valley, Long Island, New York. Bobby Lovett had moved from Texas to New York at a young age when his father began running E.H. Harriman's Union Pacific Railroad, and grew up alongside the Harriman boys and attended Yale with Davison's son, Frederick Trubee Davison, and Knight Woolley's brother John, in the 1918 class. Prescott Bush and Bunny Harriman were one year ahead of Lovett, who, with Knight Woolley and Neal Mallon, were in Yale's Class of 1917. Averell graduated in the 1913 class. All were in Skull and Bones.

Unnamed industrial finance company being set up by G.H. Walker.
In January 1920 St. Louis investment banker George H. Walker announced he would set up a new "industrial finance company," with many wealthy businessmen, including:
  • J. Ogden Armour, the meat packer in Chicago, was involved, as were 
  • Averell Harriman, 
  • Percy Rockefeller, 
  • Sam F. Pryor, and 
  • W. C. Potter, among many others. 
On April 10, 1920 the new company,  incorporated as Morton & Co., Inc., announced it would operate a general investment banking business, issuing and underwriting securities, and engaging in all the normal activities of such banks. Its temporary offices were moved on May 15 to 25 Broad Street. Directors and officers were named in the Announcement below:

G. H. Walker, president of Morton & Co.--WSJ 4/10/1920


How did these Yale men meet the St. Louis banker, one might well wonder.

Percy A. Rockefeller had been in the Yale (and Skull and Bones) 1900 class with Frederick Baldwin Adams, Frederic Winthrop Allen from Massachusetts and James Cowan Greenway. In fact, when F.W. Allen's wedding was held in St. Louis in 1911 his Bones classmates attended. Allen's bride was Irene Catlin, daughter of Daniel Catlin, founder of a tobacco company in St. Louis bought out by American Tobacco Company in 1898. Catlin had used the money from the sale to invest in St. Louis real estate and built the Security Building at 319 N. 4th Street, "St. Louis' most costly tall office building." At the corner of Locust and North Fourth, it sat opposite the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown St. Louis. For years the Catlins had lived on Vandeventer Place near the family of David Davis Walker, father of George Herbert Walker. Mrs. Catlin's mother, Mrs. Henry Kayser lived at #59 until her death in 1915.

Fred Winthrop Allen had moved to St. Louis shortly after his Yale graduation in 1900 to work for Simmons Hardware, the same company which hired Prescott Bush after he too graduated from Yale in 1917. Allen had quickly taken his place among St. Louis society folk, making friends with Daniel Catlin, Jr. and his brother Theron, whose sister Allen later married.***

Averell, Bunny's big brother and the senior partner of the investment bank set up with his inheritance from the railroad tycoon, E.H. Harriman, ignored the warnings given him by both David Bruce and Colonial Air Transport (CAT) executive Sherman Fairchild. There are varying accounts of what exactly happened in 1927 (Gabrielle Durepos, Albert J. Mills, Anti-History: Theorizing the Past..., pp. 195-200).; see also pages 4-5 of a paper delivered by the authors which sets out the founding and merger history of Pan Am). One account, written by "leftist" writer, Matthew Josephson, relates that after being fired by the board of CAT, Trippe formed Aviation Corporation of the Americas (ACoAs) with John Hambleton and Cornelius Vanderbilt "Sonny" Whitney, son of Harry Payne Whitney and grandson of William Collins Whitney. Hambleton, son of a Baltimore banker and married to the daughter of the president of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, died in a plane crash in the summer of 1929, to be heard from no more. Sonny Whitney, however, turned out to be Juan Trippe's most omnipresent backer, as we will explore in subsequent posts here.

We receive a totally different perspective of Juan Trippe's role in this airline from Rudy Abramson's
biography of Averell Harriman, Spanning the Century. Abramson states that Averell, who graduated from Yale four years earlier than his brother and other Skull and Bones partners at W.A. Harriman & Co., had begun aviation investments with his brother-in-law, Charles Lawrance, who sold military planes to the French during WWI and to the U.S. Army in 1920. Charles soon became president of the Wright Company, which made the plane Lucky Lindbergh flew to Paris. 

By the time the forerunner to Pan Am was founded, Averell (then 36) was already making his third aviation investment. He teamed up with Bobby Lehman to help Trippe launch Aviation Corporation of America (AVCO), also bringing in Sonny's cousin John Hay "Jock" Whitney, their uncle William H. Vanderbilt, and William G. Rockefeller, Juan's close neighbor in Greenwich, Connecticut. In fact, the part of Greenwich where Trippe, Prescott Bush, Sr. and Jr. lived had been developed out of the vast Rockefeller holdings in that city.
William Rockefeller first acquired land in Greenwich in the 1870's.



Juan Trippe in 1928 married Elizabeth "Betty" Stettinius, daughter of Edward R. Stettinius, Sr. whom Ron Chernow described as the man bearing "the unlovely tag of father of the military industrial complex." [See Chernow, The House of Morgan (page 189)]. President of the Diamond Match Company during 1909-15, Stettinius lived with his family in a mansion called Dongan Hall at Staten Island. Recruited by Thomas Lamont in 1915 to work for J. P. Morgan & Co., he became chief buyer of war supplies for the Allies before the U.S. declared war. In this role he reorganized American manufacturing companies into munitions makers, using Morgan's interest in Guaranty Trust to finance its acquisition of factories by Midvale Steel and Ordnance for that purpose. Midvale then set up Remington Arms Co. in Delaware "primarily to manufacture rifles for the Allies in Europe." Mostly Wall-Street bankers bought up the stock in Remington, Cambria Steel and also Wilmington Steel.

Two men who were most helpful to Stettinius in converting America into a war machine were Samuel F. Pryor and Percy A. Rockefeller. Pryor, who was a director of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, helped negotiate the lease to house the new factory for Remington Arms, of which he would serve as a vice-president. The contracts to sell the rifles were already in place by 1915, and the United States had already racked up a huge trade surplus. Pryor would become a vice president of Union Metallic Cartridge Co. and later serve as a director of Wright-Martin Aircraft with Frederic Wintrop Allen and Frederick Baldwin Adams, both of whom were shareholders in W.A. Harriman & Co. of which George H. "Bert" Walker was president in 1920, as were Percy and Pryor. Percy A. Rockefeller was a major investor in Midvale with his sister's husband, Marcellus Hartley Dodge, and with Frank A. Vanderlip, while Andrew Mellon was a Midvale director. (See Gerald G. Eggert, Steelmasters and Labor Reform, 1886-1923, page 96).

A couple of years later as Assistant Secretary of War in Woodrow Wilson's administration in 1918 Stettinius oversaw procurement and production of supplies for the U.S. Army, spending many months in Europe after WWI on the Advisory Liquidating Board settling munitions contracts and those for "aeronautical material" no longer needed by the U.S. Government. His job was then to terminate contracts established during the the war on terms favorable to the government. Thus, Juan Trippe's father-in-law would have been well qualified to have mentored Richard Nixon, who terminated Navy contracts at the Philadelphia Bureau of Aeronautics office beginning in January 1945. Nixon's entire Naval career is much more intriguing than has heretofore been explored.

Before that assignment Nixon had been an administrative officer at the Alameda Naval Air Station, where Pan American World Airways' Pacific terminal was located. One who collects coincidences might be fascinated to learn that Alameda Naval Air Base was also the point of departure in 1944 for
the last flight (photo below) of James Norman Gentry, the man Bebe Rebozo's ex-wife (Clare Gunn) married after she divorced Bebe. But, again, we're getting ahead of ourselves.

Captain James Norman Gentry, who married Clare Gunn in 1939, crashed in 1944.


When W. A. Harriman & Co. merged into the newly created Brown Brothers, Harriman investment bank in 1931, "six of the twelve partners in the new company had been at Yale with the younger Harriman brother [Bunny]" — adding Robert A. Lovett and Ellery James to the other four Yalies, all of whom had been tapped by Skull and Bones during the time Percy Rockefeller was investing in aircraft with fellow Bonesman F. B. Adams.

A secretive high-level "spook" within State Department and OSS circles, Bruce in his diaries from WWII, published in 1991 as "OSS Against the Reich recounted his experiences as "a top deputy of William J. 'Wild Bill' Donovan, founder of the Office of Strategic Services," forerunner of Central Intelligence Agency. Bruce had also served as Averell Harriman's assistant in the Department of Commerce.

Like Carnegie, Andrew Mellon and his numerous corporate interests before the 1929 crash had been an integral part of the Morgan banking network of industries then centered around steel, mass transit and mass electrical utility systems and the local street railways, which were recently consolidated into one holding company by Democrat, William Collins Whitney. (See Taking the Golden Eggs, Part I and Part II.) W.C. Whitney had very strong ties to Yale, but wanted to send his two sons to Harvard because of a rift between him and his wife's brother, Oliver Hazard Payne, also a Yalie, but a Republican, heavily invested in Standard Oil, whose owners were incensed at what had transpired under the Democrat President Grover Cleveland and the Republican trust-buster Theodore Roosevelt to their oil monopoly. 

The Rockefellers, Stillmans, and associates in Standard Oil and National City Bank were determined to wrest control of the government and the direction of investment from Whitney's benefactors, and they planned to do it through the power structure at Yale University, in particular through the Skull and Bones secret society. Andrew Mellon had known Texan Jesse Jones since at least 1905, when Jones was a young man managing his uncle's lumber estate. Not long after meeting Mellon, who owned the Lucas oil gusher at Spindletop as part of Gulf Oil, Jones went into the construction business for himself and convinced Mellon to build a headquarters for Gulf Oil in Houston in 1908. Jesse Jones built two Gulf buildings, and a third was constructed by Cadillac Fairview (Bronfman) many years later as part of Texas Eastern Transmission Co.'s Houston Center complex.

Since 1937 Gulf Oil had been in Kuwait as a partner with BP, from whom they “took most of their political advice,” and who “gave them patronizing lectures on how to deal with the Arabs.” [Anthony Sampson, The Seven Sisters, p. 230.] According to Sampson, Gulf “moved into coal and nuclear energy; they bought an insurance company (CNA), an industrial center in Florida, and a whole new town outside Washington called Reston.”

What we need to understand at this juncture is that Miami in 1930 was the center of what was to become America's first international airline corporation and that Yale was strutting to lead the way through Juan Trippe. We learn much of this history from author Rosalie Schwartz in her book Flying Down to Rio: Hollywood, Tourists, and Yankee Clippers.

With the depression, a new type of infrastructure pushed out the old to create an economy based upon the concept of individually automobiles as and the petroleum products used as fuel, thus supplanting the electric-powered street railways. Mellon was in the process of abandoning Morgan interests in favor of Rockefeller-Stillman interests, as his activities during the 1920's, leading up to oil ventures in Venezuela and Colombia in 1930, affirm.


In 2001 a map of the real estate holdings in these counties appeared in the Sarasota Herald, which shows that Babcock Lumber's hardwoods grew in swampy lands later sold to the state for a wilderness preserve. The Babcock heirs declared that nobody had made any money off the cattle and farming operations of the ranch, at least not since Babcock, Sr. turned the lands over to Junior's younger brother Fred Courtney Babcock, a white sheep graduate of Dartmouth, who married and returned to Pittsbugh to head the lumber company even before Vose Senior died in 1948. Fred lived until 1997, dying in Punta Gorda, Charlotte County, Florida.

Smathers firm deprived of these fees!
Fred's heirs in 2001 breathed not a whisper here of the name of black sheep, Vose Jr. What we learn of Clare's husband number two is found in 1957 Florida Senate hearings on the impeachment of Judge George Edward Holt, whom critics alleged received a suspicious loan from an attorney named Joseph Gersten. George Smathers' partner, Jack Thompson, it seems, had been appointed in 1955 to be guardian ad litem for Vose Babcock, Jr. (incapacitated by an unknown blood malady). The guardian apparently would have had some measure of access to Babcock's $8 million trust fund as well as oversight of $4 million in Florida real estate and his cattle spread over several counties (see p. 419 of excerpt at left), all valued in 1950s dollars. According to testimony in the hearing, the Judge revoked the first appointment to the Smathers firm, replacing Thompson with Gersten.  

When Vose Jr. died  in 1956, his obituary in the Princeton Alumni Weekly state he had been a director of the Florida State Cattlemen's Association and a member of the Riviera Country Club at Coral Gables. A 1955 photograph of him appeared alongside Florida's anti-Klan Governor Fuller Warren showing off his purebred Santa Gertrudis bloodline bull acquired from the Texas King Ranch, whose website states:
In 1940, Dick Kleberg, Jr., joined his father, Mr. Dick, and his uncle, Mr. Bob, in managing King Ranch. Together, they initiated a series of innovations that kept King Ranch successful and at the leading edge of the ranching industry. ...After World War II, the ranch’s agricultural business was extended, in part to expand the national and global presence of the Santa Gertrudis breed. Acquisitions came through the purchase of property in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and West Texas, and through joint ventures and partnerships in Florida.
Clare divorced Babcock in 1939.
Clare Gunn's 1937 marriage to Vose Jr. was over in very short order, as stated in a prior post. She divorced him early in 1939 in Miami in order to marry James N. Gentry, a 1934 mechanical engineering graduate from Georgia Tech, who had joined the Naval Reserve and trained as a pilot in Pensacola, Florida, before moving to Miami to fly for Pan American. By the spring of 1940 they were living in Fort Myers, and he tended his cattle on the Crescent B Ranch, which covered a large part of Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Collier Counties' swampy range. Vose Babcock and his brother Fred were in Fort Myers to look after the 156,000-acre Crescent B. Ranch their father had begun buying from timber speculators in 1914. The ranch was then still part of Manatee County and would not be divided into Charlotte and Lee Counties until seven years later. What remains of that real estate investment is now the Babcock Ranch community east of Punta Gorda.

Vose Babcock remarried again so quickly, we might wonder whether  Clare caught him fooling around with the young widow, Georgie Areca Stone Moore, whom he married in short order. Born in Punta Gorda around 1915, Areca was a 1933 graduate of Fort Myers High School and lived with the family of her deceased husband, Charlie Swoope Moore, Jr. who died December 8, 1937. Charlie's father fancied himself as something of a defender of national security, serving on the Fort Myers Defense Council during WWII. 

After the marriage, to Areca, Vose Babcock soon moved down to the Miami area, where the 1947 directory finds him in Coral Gables in a large Spanish colonial ranch home just east of the golf course named for the historic Biltmore Hotel a few feet from the Babcocks' front door. Intriguingly, thirteen months after Vose died, Areca married Guy B. Bailey, who became one of the founders of the Country Club of Miami, which announced its golf pro would be Arnold Palmer, then the hottest golfer on the PGA circuit. After the club opened, however, it turned out Arnie was too hot to spend much time at all in Miami, and he was replaced when his contract expired.

Clare too quickly remarried. The U.S. Census recorded in April 1940 reveals Clare was already remarried to James Norman Gentry and living at 24-29 51st Avenue in Douglaston, Little Neck, New York, ten miles east of La Guardia Airport, the New York terminal for Gentry's employer, Pan American Airlines. To get to work and back, Gentry would have had to pass the World's Fair in Flushing (current site of Flushing Meadows tennis center) which did not close until late October 1940. Used as a model for Walt Disney's Epcot Center in Florida, the 1939 World’s Fair "sprawled over 1,216 acres of former marshland adjacent to Flushing Bay."

1942 Miami Directory
Incidentally, Bebe Rebozo lived with his mother and sister in this same neighborhood in 1942 before he and Clare married for a second time and were listed in the 1947 Miami Directory at 7200 School House Road (now known as SW 52nd Avenue)!






During the 1920's Florida was the hottest market for real estate, as we have explored in many posts that appear in this blog (see label 'Florida Land Boom'). It was also struggling to build airports during those years and attracted the interest of two important menGlenn H. Curtiss and Juan T. Trippe.
Here we return to review what happened in Florida after WWI, trying to understand how the new transportation technologies led to that state becoming central to the growth of an intelligence empire.

Florida and Airplanes--the 1920's

Wall Street invaded Miami in the 1920's, but a hurricane in 1926 and another in 1929 brought recession, just as the stock market crash ushered in the Great Depression. Prior to the crash investors were zeroing in on the latest technology—airplanes.

The three biggest American names in the field at that time—Wright, Curtiss and Martin—would soon be swallowed up into one conglomerate. The Great War (WWI) had razed the playing field, forcing the winner to become a partner with the federal government, which dangled the most lucrative contract, air mail, like a carrot before corporate eyes.

One of the foremost pioneers of the "aeroplane," Wilbur Wright, died in 1912, and his brother Orville, after winning a patent-infringement lawsuit against Glenn H. Curtiss in 1914, sold out to a New York investment syndicate, headed by William Boyce Thompson, formerly a copper miner in Montana, was involved. For a mere $250,000, one-quarter of what the Wright company had initially raised in 1909, Thompson's group of investors included Charles H. Sabin of the Morgan-affiliated Guaranty Trust.

Wright plane in 1910
The new syndicate which acquired Wright's stock merged it with that of Glenn L. Martin, forming in 1917 a new corporation called Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation, which began manufacturing aircraft in New Brunswick, N.J. at the Simplex automobile factory which Wright had also acquired. Preferred and common shares of Wright-Martin, which were authorized to raise a total of $10 million, were oversubscribed by $5.2 million.

Percy, mgr for Wear team
Wright-Martin quickly evolved into Wright Aeronautical Corporation, filed in Albany, New York, in October 1919 by Frederick Baldwin Adams and others, shortly before Adams joined with the other shareholders involved with Averell Harriman and G. H. "Bert" Walker in W. A. Harriman & Co. Walker's brother-in-law, Jim Wear, played football at Yale while Percy Rockefeller was the football manager.

Adams had also been tapped for Skull and Bones the same year as Percy. Wright Aeronautical operated for ten years, until June 1929 when both it and rival Glenn Curtiss were acquired by a $70 million holding company called the Curtiss-Wright Corporation.

The Curtiss-Wright Corporation would eventually become a subsidiary of a huge conglomerate formed in 1915, the American International Corporation, which Antony Sutton referred to as "a Morgan-controlled firm," with William Boyce Thompson high up in its management. Eustace Mullins has also written about AIC, stating that it was
"funded by J.P. Morgan, the Rockefellers, and the National City Bank. Chairman of the Board was Frank Vanderlip, former president of National City, and member of the Jekyll Island group which wrote the Federal Reserve Act in 1910." 
Mullins also wrote that the directors included George Herbert Walker along with an assortment of other well known men. Although many of those he mentioned were original directors of AIC, Walker was not, as evidenced by the absence of his name in the article published in Washington Post of November 24, 1915.

G.H. Walker, USGA
By 1929, however, when the corporation advertised to sell $25,000,000 in gold debentures, Walker, then president of  W.A. Harriman & Co., was listed as a director of AIC. That year also saw both Averell Harriman and G. H. Walker sitting as directors of The Aviation Company (AVCO), a connection begun possibly in 1928 when AIC's Matthew Brush was on the board of Petroleum Bond and Share, a Delaware corporation, with Averell and Walker.

Until passage of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913 the United States had had no official central bank, but historians have stated that J. P. Morgan had acted as an unofficial central bank. When Morgan died in 1913, four years after W. A. Harriman's father, the railroad tycoon, had passed from the scene, many investment bankers aspired to replace the role Morgan had played. George Herbert Walker was one of those men who aspired to such heights, but he was one who hid in the shadows. My project to shed light on him and his extended family extends to five segments, which can read at QJ. Something triggered his ambition to broaden his banking interests in 1916, the year he was named president of the New Orleans, Texas & Mexico Railway Company, whose chairman was Houston attorney Frank Andrews.

G.H. Walker named President of new railway company, 1916.
Central banks provide the nation with one financial voice to speak for it in commercial matters abroad. Morgan had been that voice for years. With his death in 1913, Woodrow Wilson stood ready to appoint the first director to head the new central bank, and the following year chose W. Boyce Thompson, an ingenue Republican millionaire who favored Theodore Roosevelt's progressivism over Taft's policies. It could only have been a political ploy designed by Colonel House of Texas, who was pulling Wilson's strings from behind the curtain in an obvious  attempt to garner favor with the Roosevelt progressives who had helped the Democrats defeat Taft.

The New York branch of the Federal Reserve from which Thompson came was then as now comprised of the biggest, wealthiest banks on Wall Street. In 1914 the member banks were chomping at the bit, with WWI looming in Europe, to cash in on financing the war. American International Corporation, an entity set up by this Wall Street branch of the new central banking establishment, wanted to leverage millions of dollars in federal grants, together with stocks and bonds issued by its member Wall Street banks, to buy American companies able to produce weapons, ammunition, and other equipment, such as airplanes--all then in great demand by the warring nations.

Glenn H. Curtiss had
Glenn Curtiss
developed an airplane that could land on water for the Navy, but he soon found himself in a legal battle with the Wright Brothers, who held a patent on their wing-warping system. While the Wrights won in court, Curtiss paid no penalty, and a Wall Street syndicate formed the Curtiss Aeroplane & Motor Company, with Curtiss as president. ... When the company underwent major financial reorganization in 1920, Curtiss moved to southern Florida, where he became a real estate developer during the 1920s.
As WWI approached, eleven manufacturers of airplanes and parts set up Manufacturers' Aircraft Association as a clearing house to avoid litigation which would delay the manufacture of aircraft needed to sell to Europeans engaged in the war. They put all patents used by manufacturerd into a pool and members of that pool were able to use all these developments in their aircraft without having to pay exorbitant royalties.

NOTES:

*David E. Koskoff's The Mellons.
**(Anthony J. Mayo, Nitin Nohria, Mark Rennella, Entrepreneurs, Managers, and Leaders... published in 2009, (p. 47). The footnotes at the end of chapter 2 of their book are quite useful for those engaged in further research.)
*** Theron, who was 6 foot 4, was elected as a Republican to the Missouri Legislature in 1906, and was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1910. He had barely taken his seat when the Democrat Patrick F. Gill, who had contested the election, Fred's bride, Irene Catlin Allen, served with a subpoena on the day of her wedding. Gill ultimately prevailed in the House Elections Committee by proving that Fred's father-in-law, millionaire Daniel Catlin, had spent $10,000 getting his son elected and that he spent more than twice the allowed amount of $660 on his campaign. 

 

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